Youkilis discusses batting stance changes

Sabathia doesn't expect to be far behind in Spring Training
Wednesday Night Open Thread

Earlier this offseason we heard that new third baseman Kevin Youkilis was hard at work with hitting coach Kevin Long in an effort to improve his declining offensive production. His overall output dropped down to a 102 wRC+ last season, basically league average, after sitting at 126 wRC+ in 2011 and 159 wRC+ in 2010. Considering he’s going to turn 34 next month, Youkilis was wise to get together with Long and make some adjustments before the season.

Youkilis met up with Jack Curry recently and discussed the changes he’s been working on, specifically setting up with a wider base and lowering his hands. Both are pretty common “old player” adjustments that try to eliminate wasted movement and get the hitter into a hitting position sooner. Youkilis is a dead-pull hitter and as he gets older and his bat slows down, he’ll need to shorten his swing up somewhere to avoid popping up the other way or getting jammed inside. I’m not terribly optimistic, but I’m glad they’re making an effort to improve now rather than midseason.

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Sabathia doesn't expect to be far behind in Spring Training
Wednesday Night Open Thread
  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    White belt? A true downsider….

    • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

      You might need to change your handle to “Monteroistramposo”.

  • Frigidevil

    I’ve gotta say a new batting stance would probably go a long way toward getting past my hatred of Youk, or as I have formerly called him, ‘THAT GODDAMN BOUNCING LUMBERJACK’.

  • Wicked

    How come every old Beantown faht ends up on the Yankees? Can’t they find a coupla live ones or do they have to be paht of Red Sawx nation befaw they play out their days? When they gonna sign Papi? He got the right PED profile. And Peedee. Heck, his name spells PED. And then Lestah. Get your own dam fahm system. And you can have Aceves back. He can ride his bicycle in the South Bronx for all I care. If he tries that in Southie, he’ll be on the permanent disabled list, if you know what I mean. Go Sawx!

    • jjyank

      lol, the Boston accent looks even dumber than it sounds.

      • Jack p

        That’s not a boston accent… thats a Mike Francesca accent.

    • ken

      LMAO.HANK AND HAL ARE STILL TRYING TO GET YAZ OUT OF RETIREMENT.HE’LL FIT RIGHT IN.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    I guess that means he won’t be doing the pee pee dance anymore?

    • trr

      what, pray tell, is that?

      • Jacob

        His old stance looked like he had to go to the bathroom really, really bad.

  • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

    Kevin Long: “Youk, you realize that your batting stance makes you look like a total dick. Want some help with that?”

    • Reuben Sierra’s Chains

      lol

  • Bertin Lefkovic

    Being able to hit to the opposite field, particularly for a right-handed hitter in Yankee Stadium, could be the difference between mediocrity and greatness for Youkilis this year. It would probably add 50 points to Texeira’s batting average and 100 points to his OPS if he could figure out a way to do it as well. Would Derek Jeter have been half the player that he has been if he was just a dead-pull hitter?

    • Jack p

      Yes, he’s an all-time great he would have adjusted accordingly.

  • Mike myers

    I don’t know why, but I still don’t believe he is actually on the team. It feels like a giant hoax. I can’t get my head around it.

  • hmelawyer

    Your theory on improvement for Texeira may work except that Texeira doesn’t really have a problem when he is batting right-handed nor does he get enough at-bats right handed to make a 50 point different in BA and 100 point difference in OPS. Texeira’s problems are primarily as a left-hand batter (the heavy side of the split).

  • TopChuckie

    Clean shaven and a new, normal, batting stance and he’s almost unrecognizable. If we could get him to change his name we could probably suppress the reality of this for a year. I think “Leo Nunez” or “Fausto Carmona” is available.

  • jim p

    Somehow, he’s become much more likable than he used to be. Can’t think why.

    • Betty Lizard

      Well, he’s a Yankee now. :-)

      I hope he loses the mustache as well as the beard–he looks younger and much more attractive without them.

      I’ve actually enjoyed the two interviews with him I’ve seen this week. For me, this is a huge amount of progress from my “hate”.

      And if he hits the snot out of the ball I will fucking love him.

  • Mike

    Thank god Kevin Long is helping him, we need another 150 strikeout batter with an all-or-nothing swing batting below 0.250 AVG / 0.320 OBP.

  • Herby

    Youkilis has been fixed…sign him to a three year extension. NOW. oh wait it was by Kevin Long.
    It really didn’t appear to be any major tinkering other than getting his hands down lower.

  • Horizonal Pinstripe

    The guy in the photo looks like a super senior trying without success to get loose on the driving range. Not exactly a physical specimen.

  • velocitee

    Yannow, IDC what everyone else says, but there’s something about Youk I like. Maybe it’s that stance and no facial hair. Almost looks human.

    Other than that, if he eclipses anything ARod does (which is likely), I’ll send him an edible arrangement.

    • jsbrendog

      it will go nicely with all his veteran presents